“To what? If you leave now, Carina is likely going to be with someone else by the time you get back. You’ve got to go for love now or forget it,” he urged. “Listen, I didn’t think I’d be into being a dad, but I love it. It’s a great feeling. Plus, that’s a normal life. As a gigolo, what have you really got when you think about it?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “It’s been a while since I’ve been in a real relationship. I’m sensing something with Carina would be long term. Then again, there’s all that money. I could come back after that and…”
“No, no, no, Leo,” he assured. “You gotta jump on this stuff now before it hardens. A girl like Carina? She’s not going to be around by the time you get back. Someone will marry that girl.”
“What are you saying?”
“I’m saying she’s young, pretty and desperately wants to be married,” he explained. “If you don’t want that, don’t get with her, but I’m sensing you are really into her.”
“It’s weird,” I confessed. “We’ve only known each other a short time, but we seem to get along perfectly. She checks off all the boxes for me. I don’t see any reasons why I shouldn’t be with her other than she was a client.”
“Then, you leave the escort agency and come work for me,” he explained. “Then convince Carina to move here. Easy-peasy. In no time, you’ll have your own little James running around.”
“That’s kind of what I’m afraid of,” I laughed. “I don’t know if I’d be ready for a family yet.”
“No one ever is,” said Jim. “But if you want kids, you need to have them early. And as the man says, you need to carry the biggest load while you can. Responsibility gives life meaning.”
“Yeah, I guess,” I said, still unsure. “But I honestly don’t know what the future holds for Carina and me. And all that money is really appealing too – and guaranteed.”
I waited at the hotel for Leo to get back. He came back a bit later than I expected and he was a little tipsy and very tired.
“Hey, Carina,” he said at the doorway. “Sorry it took me so long.”
“It’s okay,” I told him. “It’s not like you’re on the clock anymore.”
“Let me just freshen up and we’ll cuddle on the bed. And see where that leads us.”
He winked and made his way into the bathroom. I lay back down in bed, very tired myself. I tried not to doze off.
“Okay, I’m back.”
He took a few steps from the bathroom and then lay down next to me on the mattress.
It seemed we were both so tired.
“How was your night?” I asked him, groggily, feeling like I should at least make an attempt at conversation because it would be lame if we both just fell asleep.
“It was good,” he said, with a yawn. “Sometimes Jim is a little much, I know. But he gets me jobs sometimes so that’s good.”
“Jim gets you escort jobs?!” I asked, shocked.
“No, the other kind,” Leo immediately said, correcting himself. “I’m so tired I’m not thinking straight. And a little bit tipsy too.”
“Wait, Jim offered you a job?” I asked.
“Who told you that?”
“You just did!”
“Oh,” he replied, and if I hadn’t already known he was tipsy, and if he hadn’t just told me, now I would definitely know.
“What kind of jobs does Jim get you?” I asked him. “At the law firm?”
“Maybe,” he mumbled in the pillow. “But I have a big job in Chicago first. Maybe.”
“You’re not making much sense,” I said, mildly frustrated. “Let’s just talk in the morning. I have to go to work on Monday. So I’ll have to fly back to New York.”
“Okay,” he said, as if he was trying to stay awake.
Honestly, at this point, I didn’t even want to have sex. Now that I had spilled my guts to Vicky, I didn’t know what else I could talk about. Plus she would surely pressure me for the details about tonight and they would not be that exciting at the rate things were going.
I told myself to just go to sleep, like Leo was, his arm slightly around my waist and a happy smile on his face as he drifted off, but suddenly I wasn’t even that tired anymore.
I looked around the hotel room and wondered what I was doing there. How did my life bring me to this moment?
Here I was, desperately trying to make conversation with a man who wouldn’t even be here if not for the fact that I had hired him to be here.
If the School Board back home ever heard about this, I’d be done. Fired immediately and trotted out as a bad example for future classes.
Fortunately, with the school system thousands of miles away, I could easily manage the situation including the optics. Maybe I just needed out of this entire weekend so I could think clearly.